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Among Others by [Walton, Jo]
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Among Others Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Length: 303 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


"Never deigning to transcend the genre to which it is clearly a love letter, this outstanding (and entirely teen-appropriate) tale draws its strength from a sold foundation of sense-of-wonder and what-if." (Publishers Weekly (starred review))" --Publishers Weekly

Book Description

Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Winner of the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel. Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1145 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (20 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008GQHO86
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,459 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I happened upon a mention of this recently and was so excited to receive it from Amazon. I spent my youth reading SF and much of my 20s ensuring I'd read every book that had won the Hugo and Nebula awards and give that this won both (a real achievement) I wasn't even put off by the fact that there is a strong fantasy element to this book (something I steer well away from).

It starts well - the first-person journal of 15-year-old Mori, who has lost her twin sister in an accident caused by her black magic mother in an incident involving fairies and an explosion. The details aren't entirely clear, but we catch up as Mori moves away from the maternal side of her family to meet her father Daniel (who left when she was a baby) for the first time and attend a private girls school in Oswestry in 1979. Mori has a passion for reading, especially SF, and we watch as she ingratiates herself into an SF book club which meets weekly. Her father also reads avidly and there are many, many mentions of SF books - Zelazny, Heinlein, Le Guin, Silverberg and many other authors are referenced in mostly glowing terms.

There are some wonderful tributes to authors, books and libraries. I loved libraries when I was young and I think the author did as well. "Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilisation" enthuses Mori, breathlessly, but I can't help but agree with her.

But there are some problems for me with this book. Firstly there is less a plot, than a series of opportunities to mention books. And the interesting part of the back story (witch mother, dead twin) is never explored in any detail and we are left to guess most of it. The fairies themselves are actually quite well done, being difficult to both see and converse with.
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Format: Paperback
A marvelous affirmation of the transformative power of literature in the education of anyone, not merely the adolescent protagonist of this novel, "Among Others" is a beautifully rendered celebration of fantasy and science fiction as literature, worthy of recognition by a readership that should extend far beyond the typical audiences for fantasy and science fiction. If you love books, if you understand how they can inspire you and sustain you, then you have to read "Among Others", since it is not merely a most affectionate love letter for those who admire greatly both fantasy and science fiction. Walton's novel is also an enchanting coming-of-age story, demonstrating how her protagonist, Morwenna Phelps, finds refuge in the power of the written word and in an expanding social network of like-minded fans of fantasy and science fiction; a saga which should resonate strongly with anyone who began loving great literature in their youth. The more magical aspects of "Among Others" should not deter potential mainstream fiction readers, especially those familiar with the more fantastical elements of Jonathan Lethem's "The Fortress of Solitude" or Pete Hamill's "Snow in August". While delving into the make-believe worlds conjured by the likes of Samuel Delany, Ursula Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, and J. R. R. Tolkien, Morwenna also tempts fate by performing magic in her English boarding school, plunging unexpectedly towards an emotionally charged climax in which she must confront both her own destiny and her half-crazed magician mother's. This beautifully written ode to fantasy and science fiction is destined to be remembered as a classic work of fantasy and realism, admired and cherished by readers for generations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this with considerable enjoyment despite not having a great liking for magic as a genre. Jo Walton very cleverly allows you to hold off from making a decision about the existence of 'fairies; and magical action throughout the book. They could all be real or merely the overheated imagination of a young girl with many problems in her life. I also like her view that magic, if performable, is so fraught with unintended consequences ranging from one end of the universe to another that it is best avoided except on an entirely personal level. The tale ended well enough but I would have liked a bit more.
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By Joanne Sheppard TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's quite common in fantasy literature for a child to think they are 'normal' and then suddenly discover they're actually magical, at which point they're plunged into a magical world of which they initially struggle to make sense.

In Jo Walton's Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel Among Others, however, it's almost the other way round. Teenage narrator Mori comes from a family of witches and has spent her childhood talking to fairies with her twin sister in the Welsh valleys. But at the start of the novel, recently bereaved and estranged from her terrifying mother, Mori finds herself in the care of a father she's never met and sent to an English boarding school where magic is in decidedly short supply.

If this makes Among Others sound like a cutesy, comic children's book, don't be fooled. It's aimed at adults (although I imagine many teenagers would thoroughly enjoy it) and although it is indeed funny in places, its overall tone is wistful and occasionally very sad, although there's a pleasing undercurrent of hope throughout. Obsessed with fantasy and sci-fi novels and academically gifted, but with an eccentric perspective that makes her awkward among her peers, it's hard not to love Mori as she narrates her story through a series of diary entries, even when her decisions are dubious.

And yet, the thing that I enjoyed most about Among Others is something I haven't really seen any reference to yet in any other reader reviews (I haven't read any reviews by professional critics yet) - which is that it's very hard to say whether Mori really is magical at all. As she explains herself, magic makes things happen by causing 'chains of coincidence'.
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